Businesses on Grand prep for NFL Draft’s arrival

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 6:46 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - It’s officially the week of the 2023 NFL Draft and businesses across the entire downtown landscape including Crown Center shops and Messenger Coffee are preparing for the influx of people coming to town.

KCTV5 has been talking about businesses on Main Street adjusting and the streetcar route alterations, but businesses on Grand Avenue could see more people walking through the area.

Crown Center shops are going to be striping the grass area on the upper level of crown center square with tiny footballs to toss around with the painting starting on Monday.

“I think there will be lots of people through our area too as they head towards the entrance on the south side of the national world war I museum,” Crown Center Marketing Manager Anne Deuschle said. I think there will be lots of traffic on our sidewalks.”

A familiar city staple is planted in the courtyard square as the Parade of Hearts ‘Remembering The Past - Celebrating The Present’ themed heart by artist Doug Bennett is on display. It shows Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid on one side, then Len Dawson and Hank Stram on the other. Football-themed cutouts for photo opportunities are also on display.

Parking will be a flat rate of $50 per day and that payment will be collected as you enter.

Shops are extending their hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting Thursday. More than 15 places at Crown Center can be found for finding a snack or meal with Burnt End BBQ being the closest Kansas City barbecue spot to Union Station.

“We know people will be coming into the restaurants to get things to eat. We have shops with a lot of NFL Draft merchandise, so we expect to see a lot of people,” Deuschele said.

Normal hours and operations will come back on Sunday.

Messenger Coffee is one of the coffee staples here as they are now in the new KCI terminal, so people will see it when they land and then have a chance to see the three-level coffee shop on Grand Ave. during the trip.

A lot of excitement, energy, and enthusiasm as the week starts. General Manager Tyler Rovenstine and President Isaac Hodges said they have seen a similar kind of rush with the Super Bowl win parade. Hodges said they met with sports agents and other entities that have worked during NFL Draft weeks to share ideas on how they should prepare, but at the root of it is to maintain their quality of goods regardless.

Hodges said expectations are an additional 2,000-3,000 people walking through the door at Messenger Coffee throughout this week.

“We’re looking across the rest of the week thinking about an additional 10-20% every day of the week,” said Hodges.

“There’s a lot of great coffee in Kansas City so it’s really cool to be at a place that’s a destination,” Rovenstine said.

Of course, staffing is addressed so all hands are on deck this week especially starting Thursday.